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Indian fishermen condemn low prawn price, go on strike July 02,2012   |  Source: TNN

Fishermen from Rameswaram in Ramanathapuram district and coastal Pudukkottai in the south Indian State of Tamil Nadu began an indefinite strike on Sunday, condemning the low price of prawn fixed by a cartel of traders and agents.

Prawns fetch the highest returns, but the syndicate of traders ensures that the prices remain low, alleged the striking fishermen. Besides the striking boat owners numbering 3,000 in Rameswaram, Kottaipattinam and Jagadapattinam in Pudukkottai district, about 15,000 fishermen are jobless due to the strike. About 100,000 more people are dependent on the industry in the two districts.

"Though international prices for prawns are very handsome, we get as low as Rs 350 to Rs 400 per kg of prawns. Despite our hardwork, we don't reap the benefits of our toil,'' said C Parthiban, a fisherman.

Fishermen alleged that the cartel of traders had the final say in pricing and was bent upon keeping prices as low as possible. "The prices fixed by sea food export companies and their agents are final. We don't even have the liberty to negotiate with them," said S Emerit, president of the Mechanised Fishermen Association in Rameswaram.

The fishermen rue that the prices of fishing material have skyrocketed in recent months, though their remuneration has not


© 2012 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.

Theme(s): Fisheries Resources.

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